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Freenet still against Sunrise/UPC Schweiz deal despite Liberty Global offer

Freenet AG continues to oppose Sunrise Communications Group AG's proposed acquisition of UPC Schweiz, despite Liberty Global PLC's offer to participate in a rights issuance to fund the deal, Reuters reported, citing a company statement.

The German operator, which owns a 24.5% stake in Sunrise, said the deal is "too expensive" and that Liberty Global has "merely said it will participate at rock-bottom prices" with the money they will receive from the deal.

Liberty Global, which owns UPC Schweiz, agreed to invest up to CHF500 million in a combination of the Swiss operator's tradable subscription rights and subsequent subscription of newly issued shares. Sunrise believes the investment will lessen the financial commitment needed from its shareholders.

Sunrise shareholders are set to vote at an Oct. 23 special meeting on the rights issue. Freenet previously declined to support the capital issuance after disagreeing with the transaction's structure.

In February, Sunrise agreed to acquire UPC Schweiz for CHF6.3 billion. The Swiss Competition Commission has approved the transaction.